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slow roasted lamb shoulder - super moist & tender

Slow Cooked Pulled Lamb Shoulder

Slow Cooked Pulled Lamb Shoulder will give you moist, tender, pull apart lamb that is so soft it shreds with just two forks.

Course Main Course, Main
Cuisine Modern Australian, Australian
Keyword lamb shoulder, lamb shoulder roast, slow roasted loamb shoulder, pulled lamb shoulder, slow cooked pulled lamb
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 355kcal
Author Lee-Ann Grace | Chef Not Required


  • 1.5 - 1.8 kg lamb shoulder (bone in) trimmed slightly
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch dutch/mini/baby carrots scrubbed & peeled
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups beef stock (see notes)
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 140c / 280f.
  • Place rosemary leaves, cumin seeds, garlic, salt & olive oil into a mortar & pestle, and mash/grind until you have a coarse paste.
  • Place lamb shoulder fat side up in a baking dish/roasting tray, and rub all over with herb paste (including the bottom side). Place a piece of baking/parchment paper on top of the lamb, then cover entire baking dish/tray tightly with aluminium foil (see notes).
  • Bake for 3 hours, carefully remove the foil and baking paper and check lamb. It should be soft and fork-tender, if not return to oven (with baking paper & foil) for a further 30 mins.
  • Once lamb is tender, turn the oven up to 180c ff / 355f. Then add carrots (if using) to liquid which has collected in the base of the tin, baste the top of the lamb with some of this braising liquid & return lamb to the oven, uncovered and bake for a further 30 to 45 mins to form a slight crust on top and until carrots are cooked to your liking (see notes).
  • Remove lamb from oven & cover lightly with foil to rest for a few minutes while you make the gravy (optional) - if not proceed to step 12.
  • To make the gravy, remove the braising liquid from the baking dish and reserve, skimming off any excess fat ( but reserving approx 1 1/2 tablespoons).
  • Add reserved lamb fat back to the roasting tin, add flour and mix to make a paste.
  • Place baking dish on the stove over a low heat, and stir the flour mixture constantly over low heat until it starts to foam - about 2 -3 mins.
  • Remove pan from heat and allow to cool just slightly, then mix in beef stock 1 - 2 tablespoons at a time (fully incorporating each time until you have no lumps - before you make the next addition) for the first approx 1/2 cup, then add remaining beef stock (see notes) and reserved braising liquid, stirring well to combine.
  • Place baking dish back over low heat, and bring to boil while stirring & scraping up any flavour remnants from the base of the roasting tin and add salt if required.
  • Pull apart the lamb with two forks & serve with carrots & gravy (if making).


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  • A quick note about covering the lamb with baking/parchment paper & then with aluminium foil. The baking paper is there to stop the highest point of the lamb sticking to the foil as it bakes. I usually make the piece of baking paper roughly the size of the roasting tin. The aluminium foil that I use to cover the roasting tin is a wide version, which covers the roasting tin. If your foil isn't big enough to fit in one sheet, just put two sheets of the smaller size together and tightly crimp up along one side (don't make any holes) then fold out. This gives you one big piece with a seam down the middle. 
  • When you remove your foil to put the lamb back in the oven uncovered, try to keep it one piece because you can use it later to cover the lamb as it rests.
  • The cooking times for this recipe will tend to vary a bit with the starting weight of your shoulder and/or fat to meat ratio. That is why I suggest checking the lamb at the 3 hour mark, and putting it back in the oven if it needs it. Same goes for the final cook - depends on the size of the lamb & how large your carrots are (and whether you like your carrots crunchy or not!).
  • One last point about the amount of stock to put in the gravy. I have said from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of stock, and this is because it depends how much liquid (gold) collects in the roasting tin. Sometimes you get more than others - go figure! You could also make the gravy in a small saucepan if you wish, using the exact same method as for the roasting tin. The only extra thing I would do is put 1 - 2 tablespoons of warm/hot water into the dry roasting tin to bring up any flavour spots and then add that to your gravy when you add the braising liquid.
*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*